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BIDA and Special Events

August 21st, 2012
contra, bida  [html]

Back in March BIDA went to twice a month, adding 1st Sundays in addition to 3rds. All contras, but we also do occasional special events. I've heard from various dancers, though, who want more special events. We'd like to do more, too. Practically, with the way we currently organize them, we're just not going to be able to have them more frequently because the overhead of a stand-alone event is too much. [1] So, an idea: keep 3rd Sundays as a monthly contra dance series and make 1st Sundays be a "special events series". This would be things like techno-contra (Spark in the Dark), english, ceilidh, old time squares, scottish, swing, unusual formation contraish dances, family dance, international, kerry/irish, lots of different styles.

Many of these would probably have some contras mixed in, like the english-contra dance we had a while ago, but the more forms you want to mix in an evening the fewer bands and callers are up for it. We also might do these in partnership with other organizations [2], looking for a larger audience and trying to help dancers of both groups find other dance styles they might enjoy.

So: would special events on 1st Sundays be good for BIDA? Is a pattern like "3rd Sundays are contras, 1st Sundays anything goes" too much for people to remember? [4] Would it hurt our community, because people who have come to expect one thing from BIDA (contras) would come to 1st Sundays expecting that and be disappointed? Would you want this?


[1] What sort of an event would we like? Who would be good for that? When are they all free? Can we get the hall then? No? Well, we can have the hall these days, can the performers do those days? No? Shall we ask other people? Wait longer? -- This is much worse than scheduling for our regular series because there we just ask for a block of dates for the hall (al 1st and 3rd Sundays) and then fill them as best as we can.

[2] As a kind of pilot I'm currently organizing a joint event with the Jamaica Plain Subversive Square Dance Society, an old-time square dance group. This would be on a Friday [3], though, not a 1st Sunday.

[3] Tentatively, Friday 9/28.

[4] I suspect anything more complex than "every Sunday" means people mostly rely on announcements. Speaking of which, we have a flyer!

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